10 days in Western USA. Advice needed

Discussion in 'Americas' started by GtiKyle, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. GtiKyle

    GtiKyle Been here awhile

    Apr 30, 2012
    Tacoma, WA
    Been dreaming of this for a long time, and I'm finally in the right spot to do a big trip.

    The participants: Two late 20's engineers burning out on being glued to a desk in the wet PNW.

    The bikes: Suzuki Vstroms

    The scenario: 10 days to escape the captive hell that is work.

    I've spent the last 9 months collecting parts, farkling the bike, and generally pissing off the wife about how much money I'm enjoying blowing on outfitting my bike. The rubber meets the road July 12th until the following Sunday July 21. We've spent some time tweaking the schedule, trying to make a route that combines both sights, great riding roads, and good/cheap places to stop and camp.

    We're at a point now where I've asked around for opinions on what is "must see/do", but figured this board could reward me with some wisdom. Please provide any input or tweaks as you see fit.

    EDIT: Sorry, but google maps is fighting me badly. The first few days routes are showing in preview, the last few don't. Click the link below them to see the route.

    Day 1: Travel day. Every trip has them. It's going to suck and I've already accepted that. This is just to put the miles on, staying in Boise with a friend. 495miles, 7hrs 54mins

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=218316715968202944803.0004de4050cf35b8ef97e&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=45.721522,-119.069824&spn=7.363511,14.0625&z=6&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 1 - Ride to Boise in a larger map</small>

    Day 2: Boise to Price, UT - This is another travel day. We're just trying to get down into Utah to see the sights, and hopefully slow down for a few days. Lots more miles. I think we chose Price hoping there would be free camping nearby. 467miles 7hrs 10mins

    <small> <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=218316715968202944803.0004de4518382b927bae9&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=41.541478,-112.609863&spn=7.892726,14.0625&z=6&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 2 - Boise to Price in a larger map</small>

    Day 3: Price UT to Moab UT - Finally somewhere we want to be. This jaunt won't take us too long, and the plan is to roll in early before too much traffic/activity kicks up. This leaves us the rest of the day to explore around the Moab area. The tentative plan is to ride up to Arches, and hike around for a bit. Will probably also head to Deadhorse if time permits. I've seen that there are camping spots around these areas, but again, we're trying to go cheap, and not in the "crowds", or fight people for spots. So suggestions for this area of what to see/do would, as well as where to camp would be great. 115miles 1hr 15mins

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=218316715968202944803.0004de4b8d653bc0b816d&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=39.108751,-110.011597&spn=2.045925,3.515625&z=8&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 3 - Price to Moab in a larger map</small>

    </small><small><small> </small></small><small>Day 4: Moab to Escalante - </small>This day will send us the north way around canyonlands, and get us on the amazing Hwy12. We figured a good end point would be Escalante. (Any suggestions where to stay??) 310miles, 5hrs 57mins


    <small>Day 5: Escalante to Valley of Fire - This day will take us further on highway 12, as well as a detour on Hwy63 into Bryce, to Rainbow point. We'll then head back </small>on Hwy9 through St. George, and end up at Valley of Fire state park. Seemed like a decent place to end up? ~302miles 6hrs 43mins

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207028231941008682633.0004dd7d3b7cdb05ae643&msa=0&source=gplus-ogsb&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=37.317752,-113.03833&spn=4.193497,7.03125&z=7&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 5- Tuesday July 16th in a larger map</small>

    <small>Day 6: Valley of Fire</small> to Mono Lake CA - This day is up in the air...Getting across NV isn't going to be that awesome, so i think we're just looking for a route that will take us across the fastest, and with services for fuel/water. This could be altered to get us to Mono Lake by two different ways. 392miles, 6hrs 22mins

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207028231941008682633.0004dd7e2640fbb41cb36&msa=0&source=gplus-ogsb&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=37.26531,-116.685791&spn=4.196418,7.03125&z=7&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 6- Wednesday July 17th in a larger map</small>

    <small>Day 7: </small>Mono Lake CA to Fort Bragg, CA (ish) - Unsure where we'll end up on this leg. Somewhere on the coast...Any recommendations for places? This is the route we planned, since we really want to hit highway 1. Camping sites seem to be very expensive in these areas. 413miles 8hrs 27mins

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207028231941008682633.0004df35277688edccfac&msa=0&source=gplus-ogsb&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=38.376115,-121.519775&spn=4.133789,7.03125&z=7&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 7 in a larger map</small>

    <small>Day 8: Fort Bragg, CA </small>to Florence, OR - More Highway 1/101. Through the Redwoods, and coastal traveling. 403miles 7hrs 55mins

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207028231941008682633.0004dd7c5f5d34bc035b0&msa=0&source=gplus-ogsb&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=42.000325,-123.574219&spn=7.836646,14.0625&z=6&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 8- Friday July 19th in a larger map</small>

    <small>Day 9: </small>Jessie M Honeyman to Hood River, OR - More riding up Hwy 101. Lots of stops for pictures and the view. Should be a easy, scenic ride. 299miles, 6hr 33mins

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207028231941008682633.0004dd7c1232d5145818c&msa=0&source=gplus-ogsb&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=44.988113,-122.871094&spn=3.729656,7.03125&z=7&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 9- Saturday July 20th in a larger map</small>

    <small>Day 10: </small>Hood OR to Home, Via WABDR - Our last day will take us up the WABDR. This day is pretty well locked in, we know this is a must. 219miles 8hrs 33mins

    <iframe marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=207028231941008682633.0004dd7b9ed9775203851&msa=0&source=gplus-ogsb&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=46.346928,-121.887817&spn=1.820108,3.515625&z=8&output=embed" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="480"></iframe>
    <small>View Day 10- Sunday July 21st in a larger map

    So there it is. Nothing is quite set in stone yet...but I'm open to suggestions on changes. Anyone with experience in these areas, please chime in!!

  2. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    May 14, 2005
    MS. Gulf Coast and Puerto Vallarta, MX
    Only one suggestion. Don't rely on the times that your map program is giving you. If a route says 7H30m you can expect to add at least an hour to it. You have to consider traffic, fuel stops, food/drink stops, pee breaks, etc. And weather.
  3. kuroda_tadayoshi

    kuroda_tadayoshi Kuroda

    May 20, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    You're in your late 20s. You have decades of trips ahead of you. You don't have to do it all at once.

    For over ten years now, I have been taking yearly motorcycle trips. A buddy of mine lives in the Midwest. We meet somewhere, and spend two weeks exploring an area; both motorcycling and hiking. One year we did Utah. One year Colorado, one year New Mexico, one year Montana, one year Arizona, one year Alberta, etc.

    I would suggest just concentrating on Utah this year. Spend an extra day in Moab. Explore Canyonlands. Save Oregon or the Washington discovery route for another year.

    Too often when people travel, they miss soaking up and enjoying the experience by blowing through it.

    Just my opinion. Either way, safe travels!
  4. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Oct 17, 2006
    Denver, more or less.
    I can't help you with your route in any way. I've never been to that part of the country. It looks like a fun trip.

    But I just had to chuckle when I read "engineer" and then saw a series of maps showing precisely the route you plan to take and the places you'll be stopping each night.

    My only suggestion would be to loosen up your schedule a bit. Actually, loosen it up a lot. Pick a few places you want to see ahead of time, and generally aim in that direction.

    V-Strom is a great bike for your ride.

  5. usgser

    usgser Long timer

    Nov 6, 2005
    Westside WA
    Agreed. Sounds like a burn out work trip. It's about the ride not the destination. Pick a destination you want to end up at eventually. Get up early head that direction, when tired find a place to stay. Lather, rinse, repeat till you're there. Keep talking with the locals other than gas station attendants about local sites, fun routing heading your general direction. Ya get there when ya get there but you'll have a better trip. It's real easy to over plan over schedule a trip and it's turns out to be a chore. Sucks to be stressed trying to get to a pre planned day destination just because "it's in the plan". You're on vacation not on the clock. S. UT is a great destination but even your whole 10 days isn't near enough to explore S. UT let alone enjoy the entire trip at your pace. Even a few days there is worth doing but enjoy the entire trip too. Plan route: A to final destination Z. Parts, B,C,D,R,W, etc will fall into place by themselves.
  6. 243Win

    243Win Been here awhile

    Jan 21, 2008
    Port Orchard, WA
  7. kevin2735

    kevin2735 Been here awhile

    Mar 22, 2010
    Santa Barbara, CA
    For a UT to California leg, I went from St. George UT to Mono Lake on Hwy 18 north to Enterprise where I took Hwy 120 / Crestline Road west to 319 & 93 west eventually connecting to 375 the ET hwy. Crestline Road was nice, it was about 50 miles of dirt road with nothing in between. There were services in Enterprise and at the intersection of the ET Hwy. Next services were in Tonapah. From 375 I took Hwy 6 through Tonapah and onto Hwy 120. I did this in a day and it was about 420 miles. Once you are at the 120 & 395, stop at the Mobil gas Station for food. They have the best gas station restaurant I have ever seen.

    Also, on your leg above Fort Bragg, try to take Usal Road if you have the time. Not often you can ride dirt along the pristine California coastline with redwood forests. That being said, I am assuming you enjoy the dirt! :wink:
  8. CafeRacer99

    CafeRacer99 Been here awhile

    Apr 6, 2012
    Are you absolutely set on going through Utah, Nevada and California on this trip?

    I only say that because the part of your trip from Moab to the middle of Cali is going to be extremely hot. It's a big part of the trip and it's not going to be that enjoyable at that time of year.

    Could you go from Moab to, say, Durango, CO and then turn north? That's some beautiful country and it's the perfect time of year to see it. Then you could run through Yellowstone and Missoula on your way home.

    Just a thought.
  9. GtiKyle

    GtiKyle Been here awhile

    Apr 30, 2012
    Tacoma, WA
    Thanks for all the feedback folks. I have to admit, with as careful of a planner as I am with my work life, it spills over into personal research. You wouldn't believe how much time I'll spend going over reviews of products and learning everything I can before pulling the trigger. I'm not much of an impulsive buyer, I really like getting the best bang/buck. (see bike buying choice) :wink:

    I suppose this trip should be a lesson of departure from that thought process. The more i think about how much riding and adherence to a schedule there would be, the less thrilled I am about it. This is supposed to be a vacation, not another project.

    I think I'll take the wise advice given here and trim this trip. There will be others to come, and while being ambitious is generally celebrated, I think we bit off more than we could chew. :rofl
  10. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Jul 31, 2005
    Moscow, Idaho
    Looks like a good loop to me. 300 mi per day is a good average. A couple of long days at the beginning...perfect.
    Idaho needs some work. The Interstate across ID and down to SLC is horrible boring.

    Turn south at Mt Home, ID to Eureka NV on hwy 50.
    East on 50 to Ely and on to Great Basin Nat Park at the UT/NV border.
    SE toward Minerville and Cedar City sets you up for Zion Park.
    This is all high sagebrush cattle land. Motels at Eureka, Ely, and a truck stop at UT/NV border if it gets too cold.
    The valleys are 5000ft down there. July should be nice.

    You will have to rearrange UT but this is a nice empty mostly straight thru road. You will thank me.
  11. mtncrawler

    mtncrawler Long timer

    May 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    This is what I thought as well when I saw July in Moab. Would be a great time to spin your way down through the Sierra's/Northern Cali (Yosemite....lots of great riding) and back up the coast of Cali/OR or hit SW CO and head north from there as suggested.

    Have fun...:freaky

    Pick a general destination and give yourself plenty of time..
  12. Mendodave

    Mendodave Road Scholar

    May 9, 2005
    North Coast California, M/C Heaven!
    Great Basin is awesome. This is a good route.
    I routed through Valley of Fire, way out of the way, and the damn place was closed. drrrrrrr. Make sure your campsite ideas are open and you have a reservation!

  13. acdfan

    acdfan day tripper

    Oct 19, 2011
    Palominas, Az
    ok, mono lake to fort bragg.
    try to take 108 or 120. 108 no people, 120 has yosemite and traffic.
    ft bragg, mackerricher park is a good stop. there is a pizza place called piaci pizza.
    you can walk the trail from mackerricher to piaci, about a mile i think. its along the ocean and piaci has awesome beer taps.
    take hwy 20 to get to ft bragg from 101, awesome ride.
    there is also camping in the lost coast just north of ft bragg. you can get there by vstrom.
  14. acdfan

    acdfan day tripper

    Oct 19, 2011
    Palominas, Az
    i find myself agreeing with everyone, too much.
    add about 2 hours to every day of the trip for breaks, fuel, food, etc.
    how about across the north end to columbia river, astoria oregon, down 1 to ft bragg, then maybe to san francisco, east to sonora, across the 108, then to vegas for a cheap room, then to colorado, then back home?
    I saw tweak the route a bit and get some more feedback.
  15. Brick1946

    Brick1946 Guest

    If you go near Yosemite find out before where the fire is.
  16. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    If you keep the California coast in your plans, I recommend dipping into the Big Sur area at least a few hours. That is the best part of Hwy 1. You could then head north through the hills between Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Lots of Youth Hostels through there. Beer and oysters near Petaluma.

    Depending on how you want to schedule the last few days of the trip, the Moto GP race will be happening July 19-21 in Monterey. If you have already seen everything, you could attend on Friday or Saturday, then make the long push home. Probably not, though.